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Manchester City aim to win the race for Sporting Lisbon starlet’s signature

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According to a report from FourFourTwo, Manchester City are plotting a plan to win the race for Sporting Lisbon starlet Nuno Mendes’ signature in the summer.

Nuno Mendes, 18, is regarded as one of the best up and coming left-backs across Europe. The teenager has been a revelation for Sporting Lisbon and his stellar performances has caught the attention of several elite European clubs, including Real Madrid and Juventus.

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The Portuguese under-21 international, who made his first-team debut for Sporting Lisbon in June 2020, has played 25 times across all competitions this season. Nuno Mendes recently received his first call-up to the Portuguese national team for the World Cup Qualifiers against Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg at the end of the month.

Following the left-back’s eye-catching performances, Sporting Lisbon decided to extend his deal until 2025 in December. The report claims the new contract has increased Mendes’ buyout clause to £60million, with Manchester City believing they can beat Real Madrid to the signing of Sporting’s teenage talent.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is keen on signing a left-back ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, which makes Benjamin Mendy’s future uncertain at the club. Mendy, 26, joined City in 2017 after becoming a key part of AS Monaco’s 2016/17 Ligue 1 Championship campaign. He has shown glimpses of his talent and ability under Guardiola, chiefly in the 2018/19 season when he registered five assists in just 10 Premier League appearances.

However, Mendy has been very unlucky with injuries since arriving at the Etihad Stadium, thereby failing to unlock his true potential. The Frenchman has made just eight Premier League appearances so far this season as he finds himself behind Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko in the pecking order, whilst the likes of Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake have also shown they can operate at left-back when required.

Given Mendy’s recurring injury problems and lack of consistency, the 26-year-old defender’s time could come to an end should City sign Mendes during the summer transfer window. Mendes has been impressive this season, bagging a goal and an assist in 19 Liga NOS games. At such a young age of 18, the Portuguese can be a sensible option to come in at City and ultimately grow into the left-back role with time and experience, whilst being the long-term replacement for the injury-prone Mendy.

The report also adds a possible player swap plus cash deal for Pedro Porro, who is on a season-long loan at Sporting from City. Porro, who has impressed for the Liga NOS table-toppers, could be used as a bargaining chip to sign Mendes.

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